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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    421

    Default Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    Hi,

    I really want to upgrade to AIS as we go further and longer passages as it really does help with night sailing

    I’ve been using marine traffics thus far / digital yacht AIS on the iPad but it kills the battery and I have a spare back up plotter down below which I could replace / add AIS to

    So I have a Garmin gpsmap 451 and routing around the menu there is AIS info on there but of course there is nothing plugged into the vhf? Aerial socket.

    Now it does live next to the vhf radio so it could be straight forward, am I right in thinking if I buy a splitter will the AIS work or will I need some other equipment?

    If my current plotter is just not up to it I’m open to the idea of getting a splitter and buying a new plotter with AIS built in ideally using the same power plug?

    I’m a little lost with what’s the most cost effective route so would appreciate the advice of you fellow sailors here

    I’ve added a couple of pics to show the connections I have along with plotter (hopefully attachments work) the second pic shows the vhf aerial pic
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    36,292

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    The aerial socket you refer to is for an external GPS antenna, nothing to do with AIS.

    To display AIS data on your plotter you'll need an AIS receiver, which you can wire to one of the NMEA inputs of the plotter. One of the cheaper AIS receivers is the Quark A026 for £95 (https://jgtech.com/Communications/Co...k-026-ais.html), but you'll need to connect a VHF antenna to it, maybe using a splitter (which is going to cost another £100 or so). It might be easier and better value to sell your existing VHF radio on eBay and buy a new Standard Horizon GX2200E for £300 - this has an internal splitter and AIS receiver, and will just output AIS data on NMEA to your Garmin plotter. It also has an integral GPS receiver, so it provides redundancy in the event that your plotter stops working.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    7,795

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    The aerial socket you refer to is for an external GPS antenna, nothing to do with AIS.

    To display AIS data on your plotter you'll need an AIS receiver, which you can wire to one of the NMEA inputs of the plotter. One of the cheaper AIS receivers is the Quark A026 for £95 (https://jgtech.com/Communications/Co...k-026-ais.html), but you'll need to connect a VHF antenna to it, maybe using a splitter (which is going to cost another £100 or so). It might be easier and better value to sell your existing VHF radio on eBay and buy a new Standard Horizon GX2200E for £300 - this has an internal splitter and AIS receiver, and will just output AIS data on NMEA to your Garmin plotter. It also has an integral GPS receiver, so it provides redundancy in the event that your plotter stops working.
    +1 to all of this, including/especially the VHF suggestion
    Rainbow Marine.
    www.rainbowmarine.co.uk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    The aerial socket you refer to is for an external GPS antenna, nothing to do with AIS.

    To display AIS data on your plotter you'll need an AIS receiver, which you can wire to one of the NMEA inputs of the plotter. One of the cheaper AIS receivers is the Quark A026 for £95 (https://jgtech.com/Communications/Co...k-026-ais.html), but you'll need to connect a VHF antenna to it, maybe using a splitter (which is going to cost another £100 or so). It might be easier and better value to sell your existing VHF radio on eBay and buy a new Standard Horizon GX2200E for £300 - this has an internal splitter and AIS receiver, and will just output AIS data on NMEA to your Garmin plotter. It also has an integral GPS receiver, so it provides redundancy in the event that your plotter stops working.
    Apologies you might have to teach me to suck eggs here, nmea is a 5 pin plug on the back of the Garmin plotter? Or am I completely off the mark?

    But sounds like a solution the current vhf is a ray marine ray 54e just in case there is some feature Iím missing

    The only thing which would be a nice to have is to transmit as well as receive or is this another level of complexity?

    Picture of back of plotter
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Cactus Sailing; 10-08-19 at 18:25.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    The other option is no splitter but a separate antenna. Cost similar. Gives spare that can be used in emergency for VHF.

    If planning for emergency, likely not masthead. So less range. But the big fast guys will usually be higher up so more visible, the other yacht at 2 miles is fine...

    You thinking receive only or thinking of tx too?

    Cheapest AIS is about £60 unless you want to go down the open plotter on a pi with a dongle route.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
    The other option is no splitter but a separate antenna. Cost similar. Gives spare that can be used in emergency for VHF.

    If planning for emergency, likely not masthead. So less range. But the big fast guys will usually be higher up so more visible, the other yacht at 2 miles is fine...

    You thinking receive only or thinking of tx too?

    Cheapest AIS is about £60 unless you want to go down the open plotter on a pi with a dongle route.
    I’d prefer to transmit too if possible / reasonable cost

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus Sailing View Post
    I’d prefer to transmit too if possible / reasonable cost
    Ooo. Transmit and reasonable cost may not be hugely compatible!

    You are either looking at £300 ISH for a transceiver. Slightly less if using the non-type approved (illegal) Chinese set or slightly over for a type approved black box. Still need antenna. If you want a splitter instead... It has to handle transmission on the AIS side too.

    If you want to replace with an all in one solution... ICOM were working on something but I'm not sure it's available yet and price tag will presumably be £800

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Volos-Athens
    Posts
    4,809

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus Sailing View Post
    Apologies you might have to teach me to suck eggs here, nmea is a 5 pin plug on the back of the Garmin plotter? Or am I completely off the mark?

    But sounds like a solution the current vhf is a ray marine ray 54e just in case there is some feature I’m missing

    The only thing which would be a nice to have is to transmit as well as receive or is this another level of complexity?

    Picture of back of plotter
    looks like your plotter has a NMEA2000 socket that's what the 5pin one is (although the photo is not v.clear there)
    In theory, and assuming the plotter WILL support the presentation of AIS targets on it's screen-YOU MUST INVESTIGATE THAT BEFORE PROCEEDING, you could buy any NMEA2000 compatible AIS transceiver (like the Garmin AIS800 or also an 600 available iirc) and buying a basic kit you create a NMEA2000 network (a power supply yellow cable, two terminators, two tees and 2 drop cables for the devices) and be ready to transmit. Need an extra VHF antenna or splitter though as mentioned above. Check on a layout for NMEA2000 networks.
    Alternatively you can go NMEA0183 and fiddle with tiny cables and chocolate blocks or whatnot...

    TBH, plotter is a bit on the small side for all that, wont be particularly easy to follow things on such a small screen (imho of course)

    cheers

    V.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    36,292

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus Sailing View Post
    Apologies you might have to teach me to suck eggs here, nmea is a 5 pin plug on the back of the Garmin plotter? Or am I completely off the mark?
    The 5-pin is for NMEA2000. The Quark and Standard Horizon options I suggested use NMEA0183 - this is connected to the power/data cable of your plotter. If you look at the Garmin website, you can download the installation manual for your plotter, which details the connections, wire colours, etc. It really isn't necessary to create an NMEA2000 network as vas suggested, connections via NMEA0183 work fine and cheaper receivers don't have NMEA2000 connectivity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus Sailing View Post
    The only thing which would be a nice to have is to transmit as well as receive or is this another level of complexity?
    It is another level of complexity, but just requires more money to be thrown at it. A good choice for value would be an em-trak B100 for around £380, this will output AIS to your plotter on NMEA0183 as well as transmit your AIS data. But you'll also need a dedicated antenna or a splitter (£100 or so).
    Last edited by pvb; 10-08-19 at 20:04.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Garmin AIS integration a little help, what are my options??

    Thanks everyone for all your help I think I may look at getting the transponder unit and separate aerial sourced, not too worried about the small display on the Garmin, It Looks like you can set the alarm distance etc so for my needs it will be fine, I can always replace for a larger screen at a later date I would assume

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